Why are Kashmiris ‘mysteriously’ disappearing from WhatsApp groups?

A spokesperson for Facebook, who owns WhatsApp, stated that these disappearances were due to the application’s policy against inactive accounts.

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Kashmiris have started disappearing from WhatsApp groups, and no one knows why.

Residents of Kashmir, whose autonomy Indian government abolished in August, began leaving WhatsApp groups they were a part of mysteriously, leaving behind a message saying ‘[Phone number] left’.

In an attempt to isolate the citizens from the rest of the world, Indian authorities have shut down all internet services in the territory. There has been no internet service for the past four months.

Observers, due to this, suspected that the participants didn’t willingly leave the groups and maybe are oblivious to the fact that anything has even changed.

A spokesperson for Facebook, who owns WhatsApp, stated that these disappearances were due to the application’s policy against inactive accounts.

“To maintain security and limit data retention, WhatsApp accounts generally expire after 120 days of inactivity,”- they wrote.

“When that happens, those accounts automatically exit their WhatsApp groups. People will need to be re-added to groups upon regaining access to the Internet and joining WhatsApp again.”

However, the question posed by BuzzFeed News about how many Kashmiris were impacted was left unanswered. Users whose profiles have expired will have to re-register on WhatsApp, and signup again on the app.

Around 400 million people from India alone use WhatsApp, this makes India the largest market for the application in the entire world.

 

WhatsApp groups dominate the online conversations in India, and the majority of Indians with access to a smartphone participate in groups openly. So, when Kashmiris started to disappear in masses, people took notice of the issue.

“I initially thought that internet services had been restored in Kashmir and maybe these people were just removing themselves from WhatsApp groups on their own,” – Mudasir Firdausi, a London-based Kashmiri doctor who is in numerous WhatsApp groups with friends and family in Kashmir, told a news outlet.

“But I quickly realized that’s not the case.” – he said.

What are your views on this? Share with us in the comments bar below.

  • No suprise. Slow and gradual genocide of the kasmiri Muslims is in process since Aug 5. by the mafia run Indian government. The world is watching and is aware.

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